ACE Comic Con: Tales from the MCU

During my time at ACE Comic Con Midwest on October 11-13, I attended quite a few panels, and a lot of them were with actors who are currently or will be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel fans are anticipating Phase 4 of the MCU, so I want to share with you some of the fun anecdotes and hopes for the future that I learned while at ACE Comic Con. 


1. ValCarol

Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson came to their panel prepared to talk about all things ValCarol. It’s no secret the two actresses and Marvel fans alike have been rooting for Valkyrie and Carol Danvers to team-up in some way on the big screen, especially if the team-up resulted in a love story between the two fan-favorite characters. 

I saw so much ValCarol art all across the floor over that weekend at ACE Comic Con. ValCarol shippers are passionate, and Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson made it abundantly clear at their panel that they are right there with the fans. Tessa even proposed a “Val-Christmas Carol” duet between the two actresses, just in time for the holidays. 

Tessa called Brie her “real-life queen” at the beginning of the panel, and that was after Brie’s first words at the panel were, “We’re here to ship, y’all.” Don’t think the compliments were one-sided, because Brie Larson described Tessa as her “dream girl.” The love was so real. 

They buckled down about their characters’ ship when questioned about the future of the MCU. They echoed each other in saying, “We know what we want,” with massive smiles on their faces. 

Since LGBTQ+ representation isn’t anywhere near as good as it could or should be in the MCU, it’s reassuring to hear two of its leading actresses be so supportive of their characters falling in love.

It was also emotional and so very important to hear Tessa speak so fondly of Valkyrie and what her existence means for so many. After all, Valkyrie is the MCU’s first LGBTQ superhero. Tessa said:

“And I hope that we can get to the space where… I feel so proud to get to play Valkyrie in this way, but I hope we can get to the space where we see so much representation that we don’t have to congratulate anybody. Because we know that it just exists and it’s not going away. And I’m really proud that I feel like I see that more and more, but you guys are heroic to me.” 

It is clear that the future of the MCU is bright, especially if Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson have any say in it. 


2. An MCU-sical 

Before Tessa pitched a holiday-themed duet by both her and Brie Larson, Tessa suggested a MCU-sical, and the audience cheered at even the possibility. 

That got me thinking about what an MCU-sical would actually look like. There are so many talented musicians and performers in the MCU’s cast that a musical would be such a treat to see. Obviously it would feature a solo and/or duet by Brie and Tessa. 

Tessa mentioned Tom Holland’s ability to do flips. We all are aware that he’s a fantastic dancer, and so is Zendaya. Maybe the musical could feature a dance number for Spideychelle fans. Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland actually discussed wanting to do a Broadway show together at their panel. 

Fans of Ally McBeal know that Robert Downey Jr. can sing a tune or two. I know I’m not the only one who has been itching for Chris Evans to star in a musical for quite some time. 

The list goes on and on. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. It may be far fetched to wish something as magical and wonderful as an MCU-sical could ever happen, but I know I would see it opening night. 


3. A-Force, Anyone?

Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson’s panel felt like girl power was surging through the room. It was hard not to get emotional as they spoke about all of the female Avengers teaming up in Avengers: Endgame

Brie spoke about wanting more interactions like that in the future, “We want to see females working together, ideally in their own film. And we really have been saying this a lot, but the more the people talk about it, and say that they are behind that or interested in that, the higher likelihood there is that that could happen.”

Tessa reiterated that sentiment when she said, “I want us to work together as a team. Us women, doing things. In a film or two.”

Those two quotes made fans, including myself, want that A-Force movie even more. The A-Force is an all female-led Avengers teams that has thus far only appeared in the comic books. We got a taste of what that could be like when so many women from the MCU fought alongside each other in Avengers: Endgame

It is still such a moving scene, and it seems it was that way on the set as well. Both Tessa and Brie spoke fondly about that day on set. Brie said, “It just felt real good.” 

I know Marvel fans are some of the most passionate fans out there, and I know many of us would love to see the women of the MCU team up again. If we support movies like Thor: Love and Thunder and Captain Marvel, and make enough noise about scenes like the one in Avengers: Endgame, maybe that’ll be all the proof Marvel needs to give us an A-Force movie, or something like it. 

Let’s be honest, no one would be able to stop them. 


4. The Devil All the Time is an MCU Reunion

Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal’s panel was full of laughs and bromance. Though Jake did make it abundantly clear at the Spider-Man: Far From Home premiere that what he shares with Tom is just pure romance

Jake spoke about how his friendship with Tom blossomed a lot like Spider-Man and Mysterio’s did. Of course, Jake meant before it was revealed that Mysterio is the big bad of the film. 

Jake also spoke about how he loves producing projects, since that gives him an opportunity to support the people he believes in. Tom is one of those people for Jake, and Jake produced Tom’s upcoming film The Devil All the Time, which will stream on Netflix in 2020. The film focuses on how various characters deal with the aftermath of World War II in the 1960s.  

Jake described Tom’s role, Arvin Russell, as being much different from the Peter Parker we know and love. Jake said, “He [Tom] is so different from what he does in Spider-Man and in the other movies he is going to do.”

That is sure to be the case as The Devil All the Time is described as a psychological thriller. Jake Gyllenhaal described the film as “pretty badass.” 

Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal aren’t the only to MCU actors who have a part in the film. Sebastian Stan also stars in the movie. Sebastian actually joined the film in his role as Lee Bodecker after Chris Evans had to depart from the project. 

I don’t know about you, but this film sounds like it is going to be eerie but great. How could it not be? Jake Gyllenhaal produced a movie starring Tom Holland and Sebastian Stan? I’m in. It also helps the film also stars Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, and Bill Skarsgård. 


5. The Mighty Thor

A new era of Thor is upon us! Many MCU actors showed their support of Natalie Portman’s character Jane Foster’s future as the Mighty Thor while at ACE Comic Con. 

Tessa Thompson spoke fondly of a woman wielding the hammer and so did Chris Hemsworth at his panel. Tessa said that she would teach Natalie the grunting technique she picked up from Chris in the gym, which makes workouts look much harder than they may be. When that point was brought up to Chris, he said, “She’s [Natalie] gonna be bigger than me.” 

Natalie’s Jane Foster becoming the Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder is something a lot of Marvel fans cannot wait to see. Many fans speculated that Jane may become Valkyrie’s queen after Tessa mentioned at San Diego Comic Con that Valkyrie was on the search for someone to rule New Asgard with. 

Jane Faster as the Mighty Thor also signifies a change for the better in the MCU when it comes to representation. Thor: Love and Thunder, Eternals, and Black Widow are just a few of the upcoming Marvel projects with diverse casts, characters, and stories. Phase 4, we are ready for you! 


6. Thor in Avengers: Endgame 

Chris Hemsworth also spoke about how much fun he had portraying Thor in Avengers: Endgame. Chris spoke fondly of the different evolutions Thor has experience from Thor to Avengers: Endgame. He said, “Again, when you kind of, you know, remove the box that the character’s in, it keeps you surprised as the actor but also [as] an audience.”

Surely Thor will only continue to evolve for however long he remains in the MCU, which means we may see a total different version of Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. I’m confident that Chris Hemsworth will continue to play Thor with such care and vulnerability that the heart of Thor will remain the same. 

Much to my enjoyment, Chris was asked about how he felt when Steve wielded both Mjolnir and Stormbreaker. Funnily enough, it slipped Chris’s memory that Steve actually held Stormbreaker. Chris joked that he covered his eyes during that bit. Chris initially said, “I was pretty angry. I’m sick of people picking up that hammer, to be honest. He’s playing with my toys,” about Steve touching Mjolnir. 

When the moderator Karama Horne commended Chris for keeping his composure as Thor when Steve did this, since it didn’t look like he minded, Chris said, “I minded. Give it back, Cap. Have your little shield.” 

It is so evident that Chris Hemsworth has such a deep love for Thor, and that is evident in the hardwork and heart he brings to every performance. He portrayed Thor with such nobility and vulnerability in Avengers: Endgame that it made me appreciate Thor in a whole new light. It’s important to show that even gods who can control lightning get down sometimes and that doesn’t make them any less of a hero. 

I can’t wait to see where Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi take Thor in the next film, because I’m sure it will be unique and so very wonderful. 


7. Dane Whitman

Kit Harrington wouldn’t spill much of anything about his new role as Dane Whitman (Black Knight) in the MCU’s Eternals during his panel at ACE Comic Con. However, he did express how excited he is to join the franchise. Kit said: 

“Really what I’m excited about is getting involved in a new world, and in a new universe, something that I’ve… coming here I can see just how passionate people are about this world, and it’s the first time I’ve met people on that level and talked to them about Marvel. I’m just thrilled. It’s a whole new chapter and a whole new character to start thinking about.”

Kit did say that he was excited to work with long-time friend Gemma Chan, who will play Sersi in Eternals. The moderator Karama Horne mentioned that would make sense for his character, especially since Dane and Sersi are known to have quite the relationship in the comics. 

Kit also drew a line between Jon Snow, his character on Game of Thrones, and Dane Whitman. He said, “…without saying too much at all, on the surface can look a little bit like Jon Snow in who he is in the comics, but actually I think there’s a lot to be done that’s different.” This may further peak the interest of Game of Thrones fans, and maybe the two massive franchise will collide. 

Though we hope Dane Whitman gets to smile a bit more than Jon Snow did in his eight seasons on Game of Thrones. Not just for us, but for Kit.


8. Game of Thrones Reunion in the MCU

If anything, Kit Harrington spoke of Richard Madden with the highest praise and deepest love. Their friendship is clearly one that means a lot to Kit, because he spoke about how hard it was to let go of Richard when his character Robb Stark was killed off of Game of Thrones. The two didn’t get as much screen time together as fans would have wanted, and they were robbed of a possible reunion, but fans have been writing fic and drawing fanart of the brothers reuniting for quite a while.

While I never got into Game of Thrones, I have seen and heard firsthand how passionate the fans are about anything and everything GOT. I can only imagine that GOT fans are ecstatic to see these two reunite and on the big screen. 

I’m not sure how Dane Whitman and Ikaris will stand against the relationship Jon and Robb had, but I do hope that one of them doesn’t go out the way Robb Stark. The MCU definitely doesn’t need a Red Wedding. 

What are you excited to see in Phase 4 of the MCU? 

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